An exterior photo of Dunbar High School in 1965.
Nearly twenty years of yearbooks from Rowan County have now been digitized and are available on DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner Rowan Public Library. The yearbooks cover 1950 through 1969, come from Dunbar High School, the town’s black high school, making them the first yearbooks digitized from the town of East Spencer, N.C. Originally named the East Spencer Negro School, which opened in 1900, the school changed its name to Dunbar High School in 1958.
These yearbooks include individual portraits, class portraits, and photographs of activities, clubs the students joined, and sports played. Some of the class portraits also included “ambitions” – jobs that the students wanted to be when they grew up, like stenographer, teacher, or social worker. A few of the yearbooks also include “last wills and testaments”, where classes would “bequeath” thanks or seats to future seniors, and “class prophecies”, where students imagined and wrote about where they might be in the future.
The Hi-Y club of 1959 at Dunbar High School.
Follow the links below to browse the various yearbooks from Dunbar High School included in this batch:
These yearbooks provide a valuable source of knowledge for what segregated school life in East Spencer, N.C. were like at that time. To learn more about the Rowan Public Library, visit their contributor page, or their website. You can also visit their website for the Edith M. Clark History Room. To see more yearbooks from across North Carolina, you can click here.
More issues of the Highlands High School student newspaper, The Mountain Trail, are now online, adding issues from 1947, 1976, 1979 and 1982. These additions help fill in gaps in our already online coverage from 1938 to 1982. Three of the issues are specifically the graduation issues of the paper and focus on the senior graduating class. The June 1, 1976 issue devoted a full page to each senior.
Songs that fit each graduating senior from the June 1976 issue
The lower grades had news in the paper too. This is from the September 1979 issue.
To learn more about our partner Highlands Historical Society, visit their partner page. You can read previous posts on the Mountain Trail here and visit our North Carolina Newspapers page to view more papers from across the state.
1902 application for Mrs. Edgar Smith to join the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
Nearly two dozen new folders and notebooks have been added to DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, the Braswell Memorial Library. Coming from the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the North Carolina Division, Bethel Heroes Chapter, this new batch contains group applications, membership petitions, and meeting minutes dating back to 1902. While most of them belong to the specific Bethel Heroes chapter in Rocky Mount, there are some applications from other states like Florida. This batch is massive, with materials stretching throughout nearly the entire twentieth century, from 1902 to 1994.
These notebooks and folders give us a good idea of what it meant to be a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy at that time. It is so important for us to archive this material so that we’re able to figure out what their members found important and noteworthy. The collection of meeting minutes can be found here, and the membership petitions are found here.
To see more from Braswell Memorial Library, you can visit their partner page, or click on their website to learn more information.
Front page of the February 18, 1993 issue of the Charlotte Post, with a focus on Black History Month
Issues of the Charlotte Post, an African American newspaper out of Charlotte, are now online, thanks to partner Johnson C. Smith University. The Charlotte Post was founded in 1878 and is a weekly publication. It still is published today, with the tagline, “The Voice of the Black Community.”
The first issues that we are making available online on DigitalNC cover 1988-1990, 1993, and 1996. Issues affecting the black community in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the wider nation are all discussed in the 30 plus pages of each issue of the paper, from politics, including the runs of several black politicians in local and state government, as well as Jesse Jackson’s run for president in 1988, issues with the Charlotte Mecklenburg school district, especially for black students, and a multitude of other topics, many of which will seem not so different from the topics of today.
To view more materials from Johnson C. Smith University, go here. To view more of our newspapers, visit here.
Students dream of a star-studded faculty in the 1958 April Fools’ issue.
Six Issues of The Barker, the student paper from Walter Williams High School, are now available on DigitalNC. Walter Williams High School is located in Burlington, North Carolina, and The Barker is still published by the school’s journalism class during the spring semester.
Issues from this batch date from the 1957-1958 academic year and were published on a monthly basis. Included in each issues are news articles related to school happenings, event notices, and pictures of student life. A special April Fools’ issue lets the students’ sense of humor shine through as they take a break from their usual routine.
To learn more about our partner Alamance County Public Libraries, who provided these materials, take a look at their DigitalNC partner page, or visit their website.
Ten issues of the student newspaper from the Henderson Institute are now on DigitalNC. The Henderson Institute was founded in 1891 with the goal of educating the black community. It was funded by the United Presbyterian Church. The school closed in 1970 but maintains an active alumni group and our partner, the Henderson Institute Historical Museum stands on the original grounds of the school in Henderson, NC.
Editorial in the 1941 Campus Herald discussing the inconsistency of the US policy abroad and at home
The topics covered in the paper include events happening at the school, topics of study in classes at the school, as well as important events in the black community both locally and nationally. The issues of the paper span 1937 through 1969, showing the evolution of the school in the middle of the 20th century, including some very interesting papers from the World War II era where there is discussion by the students of the juxtaposition of the United States push for liberty abroad while race relations on the home front remained fraught. The early papers published in the 1930s were done under the direction of the English department but later issues appear to be have been produced by a specific group of the student body independently at the school.
The introduction of Student Council at the Henderson Institute in 1969
To learn more about the Henderson Institute Historical Museum visit their partner page or their website. To see more newspapers from across North Carolina, visit our newspaper page.